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Helleno-Nordica

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University

Ancient authors addressing modern readers

Greek humanism at the Eastern Coasts of Baltic Sea

Researchers: Janika Päll, Jürgen Beyer, Kaarina Rein, Neeme Näripä 

 

This subproject is focused on Humanist Greek text production in or imported to Early Modern Estonia, Livonia and Curonia (corresponding to the territories of modern Estonia and Latvia), and the study of the patterns of influence of Central European Humanist Greek tradition (especially German) mainly in the Swedish overseas provinces, but also in the Swedish Empire in general.

The goal of the sub-project is to study the development of different poetic and prose genres, which were connected to the region, and to specify the paths of cross-influences of different centers of learning from the late Renaissance until the beginning of the 18th century. Special attention will be given to the changes of approach to the Greek tradition, which depend on confessional and political affiliations, including the impact of the Reformation, the Catholic Reform, contacts with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. We aim also for a broader understanding of the impact of Byzantine Greek and Orthodox Church in the Nordic countries and the impact of religious and cultural clashes on the academic curricula. The focus is on selected eminent genres: the Pindaric Ode, the Greek oration (especially the speeches on religious subjects), the disputations in Greek, the Greek Bucolic ode, and special rare Humanist Greek forms from lapidary prose to Carmen figuratum.

A supplementary focus of research is to study patterns of use and reinterpretation of ancient Greek culture in Latin and Greek university dissertations, searching for both direct and intermediate ancient and Early Modern sources of influence and examining and describing the axes of influence between the Baltic Sea region and other centers of learning. The comparison of Greek disputations from Estonia, Sweden, Finland to the practice in Germany, will help to understand the further development of the studies of classical languages in the 18th century, the starting-point of the discipline of classical studies, as it was established in  the 19th century.

 

Helleno-Nordica research fellows at the Research Center of Tartu University Library:

Janika Päll: coordination of research in Tartu, participation in the creation of the Humanist Greek database and fieldwork in Estonia, Latvia, Russia and elsewhere. Study of the German, and more generally European, roots of Humanist Greek genres, which were used in the Swedish Empire; the research on the Humanist Greek tradition in Estonia and Latvia.

Jürgen Beyer: consultant in Book History, European languages and collaborator of the database doing fieldwork in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. His research concerns book history and the history of printing, focusing on Greek types and the biographies of Humanist Greek authors from the Baltic Sea region.

Kaarina Rein: consultant of Modern Greek. Her focus of research in the project is on the impact of ancient Greek culture in Latin disputations from Estonia and Latvia, on Greek tradition in general and on Greek and Latin medical disputations.

Neeme Näripä: responsible for data storage and the preparation of the Humanist Greek database. His research in the project focuses on Greek and Latin disputations, and the impact of ancient Greek Philosophy and Rhetoric in disputations from Estonia and Latvia.